National Storytelling Festival to Move to a Digital Platform

Photo by Parker Bohon

(Jonesborough, Tenn.) – The International Storytelling Center (ISC), home to the world-renowned National Storytelling Festival and Storytelling Live! Teller-in-Residence series, announces it will move all programming to a digital platform in 2020.

As an organization paying close attention to the rapidly changing health guidelines around COVID-19, ISC’s leadership has had many discussions about how to safely produce an event that brings together so many people from around the world in one place. Ultimately, the conclusion is that the risks are not tenable.

The International Storytelling Center is acutely aware of its economic impact on the region, as its programming lends nearly 8 million dollars to the local economy and generates over 100 jobs during its May-October programming.  While the organization regrets having to make this difficult decision, ISC’s top priority is keeping its patrons, their families, nearly 500 volunteers and staff, and all its attendees’ communities safe and healthy in order to enjoy many events together in the years to come.

“While this situation is unique in our 48-year history,” says ISC President Kiran Singh Sirah, “It’s helpful to consider it in the context of storytelling as an ancient tradition that has adapted and evolved through all our world’s most wild and traumatic events. In the spirit of that long history, we are hopeful, optimistic, and excited to push the boundaries of how we can share this art form digitally. We see this unusual opportunity to expand the Festival’s reach to all sorts of new eyes and ears this autumn!”

ISC plans to announce more details about the digital National Storytelling Festival later in the summer, as well as information on how to register for the event.  People from all over the world will still be able to experience world-class storytelling and the events they have come to know and love, all from the comfort of their homes. As usual, the event will take place during the first weekend of October.

ISC will begin delivering some specialized digital storytelling sessions as early as mid-July.

For more information or to learn about ticket options for 2020, click  here